Sunday, September 11, 2005

BSG: Final Cut

Xena does Sci-Fi.
The last four episodes of Galactica have eroded the good feelings I had about the second season of the series based on episodes 1-4. It's just an ordinary sci-fi show now and with each passing week the characters are getting less real and more like caricatures.


What I Liked
  • It's mildly amusing that Baltar is pissed that reporter D'Anna Biers initially ignores him.
  • The 911-style impromptu memorial shrine with photos and personal mementos created by the crew and last seen in the mini-series still exists somewhere on the Galactica. Evidently the crew maintains the shrine on their own and they replenish the candles periodically. People seem to go there to pray and be alone when they have downtime.
  • They've finally given first names to some familiar characters. Gaeta's first name is Felix, Dualla's first name is Anastasia.
  • Starbuck is miffed that she isn't a suspect in the attacks on Col. Tigh.
  • After Ellen's urging, Tigh agrees to be interviewed by Biers to get out his side of the "Gideon Massacre" story, i.e., the shooting of unarmed civilians by Marines in episode 4, "Resistance." Biers cleverly softens him up by getting him to drink. He quickly becomes agitated by her questions, throws the glass and shoves her. All caught on tape.
  • There is a tense moment as Louanne "Kat" Katraine, high on stimulants, crash-lands her Viper. That's some good continuity there. In an episode last season (was it "33"?) Starbuck, Lee and some others had to take stims in order to stay awake for days and do their shifts. Kat, if you recall, is one of the "nuggets," so it's not surprising that she feels the pressure acutely.
  • The original Battlestar Galactica theme plays in the background of Biers's finished video. That was a nice gesture for the old school fans.
  • I was actually surprised at the end when three of the human Cylons we're familiar with -- Doral, Sharon and Shelly -- view the footage in a private theatre and reporter D'Anna Biers is revealed as a Cylon.

What I Didn't Like
  • The reporter films some footage in the pilots' quarters and we get to see Starbuck, Lee, Kat and other people frolicking around in various states of undress. I guess that was supposed to be sexy. YAWN.
  • Palladino, the Marine in charge of the supply run that turned into the Gideon Massacre, turns out to be the guy stalking Col. Tigh. He was leaving threatening messages in Tigh’s quarters and sabotaging his shuttle. He duct tapes Ellen and puts a gun to Tigh's head, but can't pull the trigger. Palladino is arrested. Too easy. Someone else takes the fall for Tigh's incompetence.
  • Why would Palladino tip his hand by leaving a bad poetry on Tigh's mirror? Too theatrical.
  • Starbuck recognizes the message scrawled on Tigh's mirror as the work of "Kataris," some famous Caprican poet. I guess this is supposed to show she is an educated, sensitive ho, not just a fighter pilot ho.
  • I really didn't think we'd see another human Cylon again so soon after Simon was revealed in episode 5, "The Farm." It was too soon. They need to spread out those revelations.

  • Is this as good as this series is going to be now? Please let the answer be no.


Chancellor Palpatine said...

I think they have done a pretty good job so far this season, and they probably have more surprises in store. The whole reporter thing was really just a device to reveal her as a cylon, which someone I was watching with figured out before I did.

It's weird how you can draw some parallels with what happenned after 9/11 to what happenned when the cylons attacked. The government needed to restrict freedoms to protect the citizens, the military has a job to do, but is sometimes made out to be the bad guys, etc.

The writers can clearly draw out what it would really be like to have to run a government after a terrible and unprovoked attack. But where do you draw the line? I think the writers are trying to figure it all out.

I'll keep watching, that's for sure... ;-)

Michelle Pessoa said...

Well, Palps, as someone who rose to power by getting people to agree to having their freedoms taken away, I'd say you wrote the book on how far a government can go. ;)

The series is at its best when the writers make an honest effort to ask themselves the question, "How would I act in this situation?" The stories are at their worst when the writers forget about normal human reactions.

When Callie jumped out of the crowd and shot Sharon in the gut, that made total sense. She was avenging everyone who had ever been duped by a Cylon.

When no one has forced Baltar to be accountable for the fact that his Cylon detector test didn't catch Sharon in the first place (we know why she passed, of course), that doesn't make any sense.

Despite some problems, it’s still a good show. It can only get better.

The Box said...

I agree. The speed these Cyclon reveals are happening is a bit quick. I think they've got six more models to go or something. I'm also not sure I like the whole rah-rah jingoistic stuff they had at the end of the documentary (complete with the old 'patriotic' BSG theme).

I'm not sure what to think at this point. I keep hoping for things to return to Season 1's level where all the characters were less ambiguous and the events had more consequence - particularly bad calls.

I can accept that you can't throw everyone in the brig for instance cos you need people to run the ship and all, but the episode resolutions are becoming so...convenient.

God, I hope their not jumping the shark.
Ron, are you listening?